Dark and discreet, The Varnish is a speakeasy lounge located in the historic core of downtown LA that features a vintage wooden bar, intimate atmosphere and immaculate hand-crafted cocktails.
Cocktail culture reaches new heights at The Varnish, a speakeasy bar found in downtown LA where the lights are dark, the cocktails are strong and the atmosphere is that of a clandestine rendezvous. An intimate space with wood paneling and candlelight, The Varnish is classy and discreet lounge that is easily one of the best cocktail bars in the country.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Venue CategoryBar in Los Angeles
Step through a discreet door into a darkened speakeasy and discover one of America’s best cocktail bars in the historic core of downtown Los Angeles. Tucked behind Cole’s restaurant, this wooden watering hole will make you feel like you’re back in the roaring 20s, from the vintage décor to the old-fashioned gin cocktails to the throwback outfits worn by the staff. A beautifully built bar with dark woods, exposed brick and candlelight, The Varnish has become the favorite incognito destination for celebrities, including Christina Hendricks and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter). Classy and clandestine, this intimate lounge features several small tables, a piano and a cocktail menu full of unique and unusual flavors to explore. Order drinks like The Poet's Dream, Bitter Bee or Sazerac, or simply have one of the bartenders customize a libation on the spot based on your favorite flavors and liquors. The Varnish brings mixology to new heights with expertly crafted cocktails – this is not the place to order a vodka-cran. The speakeasy's bar is a showcase for the amazing array of liquors they serve, along with an ice-down tray of fruits, herbs and spices to embellish the drinks. An ideal spot for a late-night rendezvous, The Varnish is a mainstay of LA's new cocktail culture.
Review By Shilo Urban
The Varnish is actually located inside Cole's restaurant, a historic establishment opened in 1908 that claims to have invented the French Dip roast beef sandwich.
The Varnish is a tiny place that fills up fast, so if you don’t like waiting in line, head there on weeknights or early in the evening on Friday and Saturday nights. Skid row is around the corner, so for best results, pay to park in a guarded lot.
Leave a Tip/Recommendation
The Avalon is one of those clubs that you absolutely have to go to when you're in Los Angeles. They spin all types of music, from house to hip-hop, trance to old school. Check it out >>
1735 Vine St
Hollywood CA 90028
Culver City's sports bar, The Garage, has everything you and your crew needs to get your motors revved up and running this weekend. Check it out >>
3387 Motor Ave
Los Angeles CA 90034
If you are looking to do an expensive high-end happy hour in Hollywood, this romantic spot is the place to go to impress a date. Check it out >>1607 N Cahuenga Blvd
Hollywood CA 90028
A nightlife mainstay in the trendy hipster neighborhood of Silver Lake, Satellite is an intimate indie rock venue with cheap drinks, a young crowd and live bands every evening. Check it out >>1717 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90026
Ye Olde Kings Head a British establishment in Santa Monica to go for a pint and some bangers and mash among friends.
It's time for you and your crew to get funky this weekend and enjoy an ice cold California beer from Hollywood's artsy neighborhood bar, District 13.
Wonderfully strong margaritas, tasty Mexican tacos, and the ideal people watching perch- Te'Kila embodies the ultimate south of the border hangout right here in the heart of Hollywood.